Tuesday, November 30, 2004

A Long Lapse

So I have managed to avoid sharing my writing for months on end (despite good intentions), yet again. You have heard from me only once... not nearly enough to hear anything, really. And yet, I have been writing. Writing up a storm as I have for over a decade now with my library of journals. This past weekend, Dan & I sat in Samovar Tea Lounge in the Castro (a favorite haunt of ours) and wrote for hours. It was cathartic.

So why do I still avoid sharing any of it with you? I suppose it always feels like a commitment I am not ready to handle. As if putting it out there will somehow mean I am accountable to every word or expected to keep 'putting out', as it were. There is much fear and self-loathing involved whenever I think of sharing anything closest to my heart even as I love to open up the inner recesses of my soul to others.

I don't know why I avoid. I only know I do to a fault. I am ready to stop that and share some of the myriad of thoughts and impressions that flow through and from me every day. I could write novels of thought if only I had the time and will. This life is too full and thrilling and tiring to begin to say all that stirs within.

So I start by saying I will try to be here, even if a just occasionally. Don't believe me if you like. I am not sure I even believe myself. But I have to put this out there to anyone who might be reading (maybe no one?) I will attempt to put at least a few of the writings I am doing on my own time - or at least write a few additional words here.

Life is too short to remain silent and keep the endless waves of emotion, thought and life to myself. Thank you to those of you who let me share these things with you in person. But I do know deep within, always have, that I must share more in writing.

Here's to release.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

At the Samovar Tea Lounge

I am worn out from life. It’s so full and too fast to enjoy it. I am back from a stress-filled, travel intensive Thanksgiving weekend (from SF to LAX to OC to AZ back to OC to LAX to SF; last minute visit to AZ for Dan's whole family to be with his dear, dying Grandmother) and maybe that is the reason for the complete disconnect and muddled murk of my brain.

As we sit in Samovar Tea Lounge, Dan and I talk in-depth over tea and sandwiches about really living and seeing each little detail in our lives. I told him I know that is my call: to speak of what I see, to write it out in detail and to share it. Yet I am neglecting it in this overly hurried life brimming with good things. As someone I worked with years ago once told me, “You see beauty in all of life; transcending where few go. We could all go there but forget to. You remind us to open our eyes. Don’t ever stop doing that.”

I’ve never forgotten that. Being told such a thing from a co-worker is rather profound. The funny part is, I forget and settle for mediocrity so often it seems I might as well have never been given a gift of seeing. Still, there is an incessant fire within - with flames that keep licking at me as I begin to smolder, saying, “Awake! Do not forget from whence you came and to where you will return! Remind the world – cry out to them: LIVE! Not because you have attained, but because you are able to see that this the truth behind all lies of complacency. You are to be a reminder in a world lulled to sleep…”

How sad to be the pathetically flawed vessel I am with such a portentous message. I am wracked with guilt over my imperfections at almost every moment, which points to my self-absorbed narcissism and cloaked pride.

Yet aren’t we all such raw and empty souls but for the life of our Creator breathing through us and making us what we were created to be rather than what we would settle for in our painful, angst-ridden existence? And most of us never let God get even close to doing such a transformation in us. I fear to tread that same path of complacency shared by the world … as Dan & I discussed at length last night over coffee at LAX, waiting for our plane to board home.

But you know it when you see it: someone so alive and “right” in their own skin that they set aglow their surroundings and the people in their realm of community. Never without their hostile, apathetic moments or failures, surely; but always with a passion to continue to fight for a life beyond settling... beyond the safely expected path of numbness and American comforts.

So how do I begin to enforce the discipline of writing which I have long embraced in my journals, have never abandoned and yet still avoid sinking fully into? Where does one begin to catalog the never-ending stream of impressions and the visions that lead to life? It’s much too large a project for me. So I’ll start here, humbly realizing I will never attain, but may at least hint at, the glory possible for every one of us: unique, radiant humans that we are, created in the image and likeness of God.

Monday, May 24, 2004

To Journal or Not to Journal

I have journaled extensively for almost fifteen years now, having in recent years contemplated putting excerpts online. I can't expose everything publicly or then where would I release my endless thoughts? I always have more to say, however, and thus find this opportunity to journal in addition to my own handwritten journals one I cannot pass up.

What shall my first entry be, you ask? I suppose I could write about my past weekend. That's a place to start. It began with a leisurely day Friday, May 21, meeting with various friends throughout the day - Elena, Pam, Julie - for meals and coffee (at my place or in cafes), heart to heart talks and catching up on our lives.

The evening provided Dan & I excellent free seats at the San Francisco Symphony's Beethoven festival with my former housemate, CaSandra. CaS is now employed with the Symphony in their HR department and can get free tickets at any time. This concert was Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 (the second movement was particularly gorgeous and a favorite of Dan's). After our deliciously filling, authentic Italian dinner at "Il Borgo" - toasting with a warm glass of chianti to our friendship and the night - we went to our concert, savoring the rousing flow of the Symphony and the guest pianist, Jean-Yves Thibaudet. We occasionally had to break the reverence with our own colorful jokes, then attempt to cover our laughter during the quiet moments.

Saturday provided a leisurely morning with a three hour conversation with my Anita... always good for my soul, though we never can begin to say it all. How thrilled I am that we can go to NYC and Boston this Fall and see her and sweet Dave. I didn't want to have to wait too long following the wedding.

Sherri joined us in the afternoon and we headed out to Pier 30/32 to meet Vic, and eventually Natashia & Giorgio, for the first band at the (free) KFOG festival. With Vic waiting all day in line, we bypassed the miles long line to head straight to the front of the stage for a rousing Robert Randolph & the Family Band show. Wow! The spirit was in the house! People are calling him the new Hendrix and I have to say the shoe does fit. With 70's funk, soul, gospel, blues and rock, he and his band tore it up! Everyone, from the hippies/granola kids on one side of us to the drunken middle aged trucker guys on the other side, was completely caught up in their riotous, spirited sound and Robert's truly inspired steel guitar work. "Shake the goose bumps off me, man!" the guy behind us kept shouting after the opening number. The best part was to see the joy with which he played: so infectiously exuberant and part of every moment was he, that in watching him, you desired to celebrate music and life with as much zest as he did. The clouds flew by over head, allowing the sun to send its rays down on us intermittenly, while the water of the Bay behind us and the towering Bay Bridge next to us, created an outline surrounding us of a perfectly free moment in time. I am glad we went... and no ticket price for all that.

We took Sherri out for a birthday dinner & drink at The Last Supper Club following the show and then spent a cozy evening at home, just Dan & I.

Church was excellent on Sunday and Dan & I had a leisurely day following with naps, walks, a rooftop pipe smoke (Dan smoked the pipe), recipe browsing for the week, making dinner and watching TV. And with that, I must rush off.